Interesting things happen when you do interesting things. It’s an equation, an unwritten law, and a universal truth all rolled into one. It’s a way at looking at each day, at each opportunity, each time you meet someone.
It allows you to adopt a different viewpoint to failure, it invites you to trust in putting your work out there into the big wide world, and gives you the freedom to be braver with your ideas, your work, and your thinking.
Interesting can help you. It can make your work better, it can open doors that you thought never would be open to you, it can help you work with amazing people and do amazing things.
Yes, interesting things happen when you do interesting things.
# 1, Outputs are directly related to inputs.
If you go looking in the same place for inspiration as everybody else, you will find your work quickly resembles theirs. Go and see that odd Polish subtitled movie. Be one of the three in the audience.
# 2, Comfort zones are creative dead zones.
To feel most alive you have to be doing work that keeps you on your toes. Once you have your successful formula, don’t repeat it. Start again, but start from a new place. Having doubts about your work means you are trying new ways.
# 3, The more interesting your circle, the more interesting you will be.
Great writers need to hang out with great writers, great artists need to hang out with great artists, people who want to to change the world need to hang out with people who want to change the world. Your circles define and push you.
#4, Think different is more than a slogan.
To think different, do different, read different, travel different, eat different. We stay interesting by stepping outside of our daily routine. We keep pushing; we leave what we know behind for a bit in order to let new in.
#5, Step outside your world.
If you code, don’t go to a conference on coding. If you design, don’t go to a design conference. If you run startups, don’t go to a startup conference. Be eclectic. Open up the mind. Don’t close it down.
#6, Learn from Velcro.
Velcro works like this: On one side is a series of hooks going in lots of random directions. On the other side is a series of loops going in lots of random directions. When a hook meets a loop, they connect. It is in the connection business. And if you are an ideas person, so are you.
#7, Alcohol doesn’t make you more interesting.
At the time, you think it does. Yes, you can ‘Write drunk and edit sober’. But mostly you will be editing a pile of garbled mess. It’s your thinking that makes you interesting, not your drinking.
The best way to be interesting is to be interested. Stop being on transmit, and flip the switch to being on receive. Listen hard, listen without thinking about what you are about to say. Good listeners are sought after.
#9, Embrace your weirdness.
The odd things about you make you interesting. Don’t hide them away. Don’t try to blend in. Our imperfections and our quirks make us who we are. Bring them to the surface. Hide them in the spotlight. Be you, warts and all.
#10, Turn left instead of right in the bookstore.
We find things we are interested in, and stick to our groove. So we see the same type of films, listen to the same type of bands, and read the same type of books. So next time your in the bookstore, go to the section you never go to.
#11, Treat failure as a rite of passage toward interesting.
How you view failure will determine how much success you have. If you fear it, you will hold back. And if you hold back, you will not be brave with your ideas.Ideas require you to be at your bravest in order to stand out.
#12, Know how to ask a question.
Being good at small talk will make you more interesting. One way is being able to ask others questions so you can bring out their interesting. Once you have discovered their interesting, they will think you are.
# 13, Take cold showers.
Have one thing that people talk about. Run without trainers. Make a rule when you see a river, you have to go for a swim in it. Do something for people to see you differently. Surprise others. But, as importantly, surprise yourself.
#14, How you say something can matter more than what you say.
Some people can make really interesting things sound rather dull. Some people can make something dull sound rather interesting. Delivery matters. Only 7% of what we say that is emotional is contained in the actual words we say.
#15, Become an intellectual tourist.
“Limited references create a limited life. If you want to expand your life, you must expand your references by pursuing ideas and experiences that wouldn’t be a part of your life if you didn’t consciously seek them out.” The Giant Within.
#16, Interesting and happiness are good mates.
Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work.
#17, Learn a new skill each year.
Learn a new language. Learn a new skill. Learn how to cook, to bake bread, learn how to code. Set yourself a new goal each year. Challenge yourself. New skills give you something new to talk about.
#18, Everything can be interesting.
If you adopt an approach that all things are interesting, you will begin to find all things interesting. And you will become better at being interested. You get better at running by running. Interesting is the same. You can get better at it.
#19, Say yes when would say no.
In order to keeps things interesting, saying yes to something you would normally say no to. It opens up new connections. Connections that you wouldn’t normally have made. And, sometimes, they are the best.
If you are doing the same thing as everyone else, you are not going to be doing interesting. Don’t go with the crowd. If that means you are alone for a while, be comfortable with that.
#21, Take on a quest.
Have something that really, really bugs you. That you can’t rest until it gets changed. People with that hunger to make a change happen are amazing to be around. That energy is contagious. And people gravitate toward it.
In order to be fertile with ideas, sometimes you have to rest. To take a break.Farmers know this. They know you have to rest a field. To put back, so it can give again. You are not a machine. Creativity comes in sprints. After a rest.
#23, Ignore this list.
Don’t follow. Write your own list. That’s what makes you interesting.